Jenks SD40-2R Life Extension Program


This page was last updated on February 1, 2014.

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Between late 1990 and late 1999, Union Pacific reconditioned a total of 423 units in its original fleet of 686 EMD SD40-2s. The reconditioning effort was considered to be a recapitalization for tax purposes and was only completed on Union Pacific's own fleet of units, rather than on any of the units of its MP, MKT, C&NW or SP merger partners.

The program started in late 1990 when seven UP SD40-2s (UP 3135, 3154, 3160, 3161, 3174, 3192, and 3199) were each given a major overhaul by the road's Jenks Shops at North Little Rock. UP also initiated a new model designation, "SD40-2R", meaning SD40-2, Rebuilt. In addition to the initial UP 3174 (UP 7050), six other units were completed during the December 1990 through April 1991 time frame. The new SD40-2R model designation was adopted on April 30, 1991 to differentiate these recapitalized units from the unrebuilt SD40-2s.

This program received publicity with the completion of UP 3174 as a newly rebuilt UP 7050. During the program's planning process, UP decided to renumber the units into the 7000 class, and generated an internal document that showed a list of the original road numbers, along with their planned 7000 class numbers. Before specific instructions could be issued to begin the renumbering, and upon the completion of its rebuild, UP 3174 was renumbered into its new 7050 number slot by the Jenks paint shop on 21 December 1990. For reasons unknown, the renumbering plan was not adopted, and all subsequent rebuilt units kept their original numbers after being rebuilt. UP 7050 was renumbered back to UP 3174 on 10 January 1991, only 20 days after getting its new number.

In May 1992, after a one-year evaluation period of these first seven SD40-2R units, UP began what it called the "Life-Extension" program. One unit was completed in May 1992, and one in June. From July on, at least six units were completed every month. The program was planned to rebuild as many as 200 older SD40-2s, most of which were approaching 20 years of age. As originally planned, the work was to be spread out over a two year period, about half of which was to be contracted out. The planned groups of units included UP 3123-3287 (165 units) and 4115-4163 (49 units, ex MP 3115-3163). Several SD40-2 units were retired in 1990 and 1991, but were reinstated to be included in the then-newly established Life Extension program.

The former MoPac SD40-2 units without dynamic braking were to have dynamic braking added during the rebuild process, but this was found to be too expensive, and the units were dropped from the Life Extension program. UP expected to get an additional 10 to 12 years of additional life from the rebuilt units.

The overhaul program was to include a thorough reconditioning of each unit's engine, generator, traction motors, trucks, air brake equipment, and wiring, but would not include any upgrade features. The program also included the addition of a retention tank built into the right rear of each unit's fuel tank. This removable cell allowed the retention of engine oils, and prevented them from draining to the gound. Each retention tank has a level gauge to show when it is full and needs to be emptied. The retention tank is completely separate from the fuel tank and was designed at UP's former MP Jenks shop in North Little Rock, and can be removed for repair, such as freeze-up during winter, or complete wash down. (George Cockle, Locomotive Notes, September 22, 1993)

The following comes from Keepin' On Track, A Newsletter From The Locomotive Maintenance, Planning & Technology Section of Maintenance Operations, Union Pacific Railroad, Volume 4, Number 1, October 1992:

As far as rebuilds, our SD40-2 fleet of more than 900 locomotives is now 12 to 20 years old. We believe we can effectively run these units for up to 30 years if they undergo a rebuild program near age 20. Performance-to-date for units rebuilt 18 months ago indicates we can expect to maintain 95+ percent availability. Usage is averaging 8,500 miles per month. Our strategy is to continue with this program with 37 units in 1992, 57 units in 1993 and 50 to 100 units per year through the year 2002.

To maximize our locomotive fleet assets and salvage the "workhorse" of the fleet, namely the SD40-2 units, we have implemented the Life Extension Program. SD40-2 units approaching retirement age are going through an extensive overhaul at our Jenks shop at North Little Rock.

This 1992 capitalized life extensions covers 37, 1972 through 1974 vintage locomotives. The specification was written by the Locomotive Maintenance, Planning & Technology group along with input from the field and EMD. Road failures and shopping data were used to highlight problem areas that had to be corrected by this program. Once the specification was in rough form, the LMP&T group met with the Jenks personnel in a series of roundtable discussions to see what suggested enhancements were practical and cost effective. Once the Life Extension specification was finalized, the Jenks shop overhaul line flow had to be modified to accommodate the added car body, cab, accessory and electrical work that had to be done for Life Extension units.

The program ended in December 1999 with the planned delivery of new SD70M units, which began arriving in May 2000.

During early July 2006, due to its badly worn paint job, UP 3135 was discovered to have been renumbered to 7012, with the rebuild number being plainly visible under the current road number. No 7000 series rebuilt SD40-2s are known to have entered regular service.